Vladimir Vasilevich Markovnikov

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   December 22, 1838
   Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
No image available
   February ??, 1904
   Moscow, Russia
Vladimir Vasilevich Markovnikov (also spelled Markowinkoff) was a Russian chemist. He became known for predicting the regiochemistry of additions to unsymmetrical alkenes.

Markovnikov studied chemistry under Butlerov in Kazan and St. Petersburg. After graduating in 1860, he went to Germany for two years to study under Erlenmeyer and Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe. When he returned to Russia, he succeeded to Butlerov's professorship at the Kazan University, and taught at Odessa and Moscow.

Markovnikov is best known for predicting the regiochemistry of addition reactions of hydrogen halides, sulfuric acid, water, ammonia, and other (small) molecules to unsymmetrical alkenes. In 1869, he developed what later became known as the Markovnikov Rule. The rule is useful in predicting the molecular structures of products of addition reactions. Some of the behaviour predicted by the rule until 1933, when Morris Selig Kharasch found an explanation. Markovnikov's works went largely unnoticed until 1889, since he never published in a language other than Russian.

Markovnikov also contributed to the knowledge about structures of cyclic molecules. He was the first one to find carbon rings with other than six cabon atoms, a ring with four carbon atoms in 1879 and with seven carbon atoms in 1889. Markovnikov also showed that butyric acid and isobutyric acid are isomers (they do have the same chemical formula but different structures).